With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options—not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves–each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and an archive of past round-ups here.

And Then We Danced (Levan Akin)

To be a Georgian male is to be masculine—especially in dance. Merab’s (Levan Gelbakhiani) teacher Aleko (Kakha Gogidze) demands that he stand straighter and stronger, a monument that can withstand any blow. While his country’s aesthetic had allowed for a softer tone, conservative tradition prevailed a half century ago to move things back to the rigid separation of gendered movement and the complete erasure of sexuality. How Aleko’s dancers perform becomes a visual metaphor for their nation. It will not be defeated. It will not show weakness. And anyone who dares to refuse giving one hundred percent to that goal can leave. It doesn’t matter how much passion Merab possesses or how many hours he practices. In their eyes he isn’t Georgian. He isn’t even a man. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Music Box StreamLocal

Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles)

The school in the fictional village of Bacurau, located somewhere in the desert hinterlands of north-eastern Brazil, bears the name of one João Carpinteiro. If the throbbing synth track that introduces the opening credits, the film’s glorious widescreen photography, and the narrative’s Rio Bravo-indebted premise weren’t sufficiently indicative, Google Translate helpfully confirms that in English the name does indeed translate to that of the author of Assault on Precinct 13. Credit where credit’s due, as Bacurau owes a considerable debt to Carpenter–while also taking ample cues from another half-dozen genre auteurs–but in terms of complexity and ambition, this furious political allegory co-written and directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles (the production designer on Mendonça Filho’s previous features) is very much a case of the students outclassing the master.  – Giovanni M.C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Kino Marquee

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Cathy Yan)

Near the climax of the deliriously entertaining Birds of Prey, our heroines–winking wrecking ball Harley Quinn, crossbow-wielding vigilante Huntress, the tough but caring Black Canary, and sighing Gotham City detective Renee Montoya–are ensconced at the top of a grimy carnival funhouse. Sociopathic henchman Victor Zsasz, a monster with peroxide hair, is there and aiming to kill. So the main target, Cassandra Cain, a young girl and expert pickpocket who happened to steal the city’s most coveted diamond. And ate it. Meanwhile, wide-smiling, stylish crime lord Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask, is en route and accompanied by an army of similarly masked killers. – Christopher S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Call of the Wild (Chris Sanders)

The Call of the Wild plays like the kind of live-action movie Disney released in the ’60s and ’70s (Swiss Family Robinson, The Castaway Cowboy), then in the ’80s and ’90s (Six Days, Seven Nights, The Horse Whisperer) under the Touchstone banner. This film, adapted from the Jack London novel of the same name, was developed as a 20th Century Fox project, before the studio got scooped up by the Mouse House. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu)

From Escape from Alcatraz to Cool Hand Luke to The Shawshank Redemption, cinema is rich with not only prison films focused on the plight of the prisoner, but also depicting wardens in an evil light. Clemency, winner of the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, flips the script in both ways, both turning the spotlight on a warden and painting her in an empathetic, complicated light. Led by Alfre Woodard, she gives a riveting, emotional performance as the Bernadine Williams, a woman who is stuck between the demands of her grueling job and a disintegrating marriage, and can’t give her all to both. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Corpus Christi (Jan Komasa)

This is exactly what director Jan Komasa and writer Mateusz Pacewicz do with their lead character Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) in Corpus Christi. Based in part on real events, this twenty-year-old is about to be released from his detention center on parole. He’ll go to a reclusive town to work at a sawmill and maybe even build a decent life if he stays clean, but the potential he holds removed from the mark of “ex-con” is rendered moot. Despite finding God during his imprisonment and showing a desire to pursue the vocation, Polish law forbid former criminals from wearing the cloth. The one thing that can save him from the destructive cycle of drugs, alcohol, and sex he quickly restarts is that which he cannot have. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement Plus

Crimp Camp (Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht)

Three hours north of New York City in a modest summer camp near Woodstock, the foundation was laid for what would become a monumental change for millions of people. The year is 1971 and Camp Jened aka “Crip Camp” is a safe haven for disabled teens. A byproduct of the social experimentation at the time, this hippie-run camp gave those that attended a place where they could openly speak their mind when schools and the world at large perpetually isolated them. At home, they wouldn’t even be picked for a baseball team. Here, they all went up to bat. This empowering encouragement was bittersweet, however, as they knew after the few weeks at camp, the world outside they would return to was not built for them. With Crip Camp, directors Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht craft an inspiring story of the tight-knight community that was formed and also the difficult, decades-long road to equality. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Downhill (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash)

Even though Faxon and Rash pay their respects to the original—sometimes mimicking specific scenes and capturing the claustrophobic feel of the family’s mountain resort—it would have been a stretch to expect a movie that captured Ostlund’s tone and subtlety. Like the duo’s first movie, The Way Way Back, which also premiered at Sundance in 2013, Downhill brings in a healthy amount of levity that prevents even the more dramatic and contentious moments from straying too far down their potentially darker paths. – Jake K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

German Expressionism

As our self-isolation continues, why not have a helping of the stark beauty found in the German Expressionism movement? Now playing on The Criterion Channel, the series features The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), The Golem (Carl Boese and Paul Wegener, 1920), Destiny (Fritz Lang, 1921), Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (Fritz Lang, 1922), Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922), The Hands of Orlac (Robert Wiene, 1924), Varieté (E. A. Dupont, 1925), Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), M (Fritz Lang, 1931), and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1933).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Heimat Is a Space in Time (Thomas Heise)

How much of our ancestry is tied to the history of the places we call home? While some of us would probably answer “None,” we’d be wrong. Just because your family tree was lucky enough to exist on the periphery of major historical moments as bystanders doesn’t mean you haven’t been impacted by wars, tragedies, inventions, and art in ways that defined your choices and subsequently the choices of your children. Why did my grandfather immigrate to America from Lebanon (then part of Syria) when he did? How did my father not getting drafted to Vietnam influence my sister’s birth and my own? Where does 9/11 fit in as an Arab American who never had an ethnic option on forms to check besides “Caucasian” previously? History defines us. With that said, however, some are embedded much deeper than others. One example is German documentarian Thomas Heise. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Vimeo (through April 5)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma)

In a year of tremendously moving cinema, no film was as mesmerizing, as passionate, and genuinely overwhelming as Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It is an emotional experience at once familiar–the immersion into the past of The Piano, the window into the artistic process of La Belle Noiseuse, the thwarted romance of The Age of Innocence–but in the hands of Sciamma and stars Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel, it feels wholly original. Within minutes–perhaps the first glimpse of the haunting painting of a “lady on fire”–Portrait feels like a classic film. It ends on a moment of sublime sadness, yet leaves the viewer in a state of ecstasy. An extraordinary achievement. – Christopher S.

Where to Stream: Hulu

Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach)

Ken Loach’s follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake is a masterful indictment of the strain of out-of-control capitalism that has dug its heels into post-crash industrialized nations. Sorry We Missed You is, simply, one of his best films that links the personal and the political. – Ed F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Kino Marquee

Vitalina Varela (Pedro Costa)

A dark back-alley drowned in shadow; towering concrete walls on either side; on the top right a row of headstones overlook; the glimmer of a walking stick emerges in the distance, and then a funeral procession. 15 minutes later a women disembarks from an airplane and is greeted not by family but by the airport’s cleaning staff. “There is nothing for you in Portugal, Vitalina,” they say. Welcome—or perhaps welcome back—to the world of Pedro Costa, the austere Portuguese director behind Colossal Youth (2006), In Vanda’s Room (2000), and other haunting works with which to grapple. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Grasshopper Film

Vivarium (Lorcan Finnegan)

In many ways we’re the products and those companies “improving” our lives are the consumers. We’re bought and sold in accordance with an ideal—a way of life—those corporations need us to compliantly adopt for their survival. And they do it in ways that make us believe the tables are reversed. So when Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) walk into the real estate office of a new development coined Yonder, they’re under the impression they have a choice. It’s Martin (Jonathan Aris) who must sell them the suburban ideal they scoff at so readily. He must ply them with kindness and fabricated scarcity, coerce them into politeness to secure an in-person tour at the property, and hope that the house speaks for itself. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Way Back (Gavin O’Connor)

It’s a small detail, the way Ben Affleck opens a can of beer, but it’s impossible to ignore. Before he sets one down on a table, he pops the top using just his right thumb and index finger, then abruptly slugs it back. He does it so fluidly, so casually, as if he’s been doing this forever. Maybe at one point in his life, it was a party trick, a muted expression of masculinity. Now it’s just the most efficient way to get alcohol to his throat. This drunken dexterity takes place early in The Way Back, director Gavin O’Connor’s throwback sports drama that never forgets that it’s really an intimate character study of a man in crisis. – Jake K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu)

Since we’re not getting No Time to Die any time soon, how about another spin on a James Bond-esque adventure from one of the world’s greatest international directors? Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu’s stylish new film The Whistlers, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, follows a police inspector who travels to the Canary Islands to uncover a plot of intrigue, mystery, murder, sex, and a strange new language. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Magnolia Pictures

The Wild Goose Lake (Diao Yinan)

“Ever thought of running away?” “Where to?” This exchange comes late in The Wild Goose Lake, the latest film from stylish Chinese genre filmmaker Diao Yinan (previously awarded with Berlinale’s 2014 Golden Bear for his art film-inflected neo-noir Black Coal, Thin Ice), and within the film’s noir milieu the line fits. It’s shared between a gangster on the run and the call girl companion he’s been forcefully entwined with, however a strange combination of filmic tools means it comes tinged with a unique, near-cosmic portent, revealing even more so than his last film a much richer, wounded existentialism about two lonely, desperate people simply surviving in a dilapidated, contemporary Mainland China. – Josh L. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement Plus

Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonello)

Bertrand Bonello’s last film, the terrorism-themed thriller Nocturama, hit headlines as it was released in the wake of Islamic State terror attacks in France. Supposedly it was the reason the film didn’t debut in competition at Cannes that year and with the compelling Directors’ Fortnight premiere Zombi Child, the director has again swerved away from official selection. Where Nocturama pointed to a seething social tension that Bonello believed present in the undercurrent of contemporary France, this is a genre-blending horror satire on the country’s racial divisions that delves into the country’s post-colonial heritage and the myth of Haitian zombie legend. – Ed F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement Plus

Also New to Streaming


The Gentleman
Resistance (review)
The Song of Names (review)

Amazon Prime

The Ghost Writer
Train to Busan

The Criterion Channel

Of Time and the City and My Winnipeg
The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Three by Liliana Cavani
Directed by Terry Zwigoff
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen


Blinded by the Light (review)

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Pharos of Chaos
The Shipwrecker
Bruce Lee and the Outlaw
The Daughters of Fire
Gaby Baby Doll
Les Coquillettes


The Wicker Man

Streaming for Free

In Transit (one week only)

See more recent streaming picks.

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